I’m a little over five months into this pregnancy and it’s been a very different experience from the first.
For starters, at only five months pregnant, I’ve already popped out to what looks like I’m carrying twins – and I made the doctor double-check, there’s only one in there. I guess it’s not a surprise really, it was just two years ago that all those abdominal muscles were stretched beyond the normal realm of natural. So now, instead of resisting, those same muscles are kicking back, relaxing and enjoying the fact that another pregnancy means another nine months of not having to do any work. But what it really means is that I’ve already started to waddle.
But the surprising factor of being bigger this time around is that I’ve gained less weight to date. I didn’t keep notes last time, but I’m pretty sure by this point last pregnancy, I was already up about 15 to 18 pounds. Whatever the ‘average’ was supposed to be for the stage, I was always at the top end of it. To date – and I stepped on the scale this morning – I’ve gained 8 pounds. So that big belly that enters the room ahead of me is all baby.
A big part of the reason for the lack of weight gain could have to do with my health. When I was pregnant with Austin, I picked up one really bad cold that knocked me flat on my ass for two or three days. Last week was the fourth (or was it fifth?) time since the end of September that I’ve been so sick I couldn’t drag myself into work for half a week or more. Last week it was a sinus infection combined with strep throat, four weeks before that it was the stomach flu, three weeks before that it was a cold and a week before that it was the stomach flu. No wonder I’m not gaining any weight – I’m too busy watching bad movies all day and barely eating.
What else is different? With Austin, I spent the first three months in nausea hell. This time around I was nauseous, but only occasionally. And I didn’t fall asleep for hours after work only to get up and go to bed every night. I wasn’t overly tired and life just carried on as normal.
I’m also not really having any food cravings – whereas with Austin I absolutely had to have McDonald’s hot fudge sundaes (don’t ask) and bacon (not the two combined though). Whereas this time around, there’s nothing I have to have. Well, except maybe salad. On more than one occasion, we’ve ordered a pizza for dinner and I’ve ordered a side salad and then only wanted to eat the salad.
But what’s really different about being pregnant with number 2 has nothing to do with the physical aspects of the pregnancy. With the first one, the pregnancy is all about you – if you want to lie on the couch all day and do nothing at all because you feel fat and ugly, you can. With number 2, if you want to lie on the couch all day, you have about 2.2 minutes (if you’re lucky) before the first one is grabbing you by the hand and saying ‘mama up’. Life just isn’t about you anymore.
All these differences and more could be absolutely meaningless, after all, every pregnancy is different. Or, then again, it could mean I’m having a girl. If number 2 is anything like its brother, I’ll find out in 4 months plus an extra 12 days.